Hatch! (Cassie Hoyt)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hatch!, written by Cassie Hoyt and illustrated by Amanda Crawford Brown, a book about the many different types of animals who begin life as eggs.

In a repeating two-spread refrain, the reader is presented with an egg as it begins to hatch, and wonders what animal is about to emerge. The eggs are different colors, sizes, and call different types of nests their home When each hatchling emerges, it’s a new and unique creature to meet. Ducks, snakes, penguins, frogs, and even spiderlings make appearances, to name but a few.

As a concept, the book is very cute – it’s a great cross section of animals that hatch from eggs, including plenty of fan-favorites among young animal lovers. The repeating quartet is fun to read aloud, though it’s structure and wording is so strongly reminiscent of Eric Carle’s classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear that it feels like it can’t be a coincidence (an homage, perhaps?). The art is… unique. While the nests are drawn nicely – balancing details, shading, and textures well – the animals themselves lack depth and consistent scale, and the coal-black, Coraline-like eyes they all feature are flat at their best, and legitimately haunting at their worst. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed the repetition and inherent interactive nature of the text, but she also seemed deeply confused by the artwork. Overall, this indie has a sweet concept, but fails too often in the execution to make its mark.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore The Wonderful World Of Chickens And Eggs (Lisa Steele)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore The Wonderful World Of Chickens And Eggs, written by Lisa Steele and illustrated by Perry Taylor, an adorably informative instruction book for young poultry enthusiasts.

The book begins by introducing Violet, a Lavender Orpington chicken (based on Steele’s real-life hen) who lives on a sunny farm with a happy herd of chickens in a lovely coop. Violet is ready to become a mommy chicken, and there’s lots to do to prepare for little chicks of her own. The reader follows through the process of egg laying, brooding, hatching, and the early and adolescence of young chickens, and soon, they will be more than prepared to help care for chickens and chicks of their own.

Very cool! The many, many elements of breeding and raising chickens are simplified down to a kid-friendly format, then laid out in a pseudo-story, allowing children to learn as they invest in Violet and her chicks. The information is formatted especially well, making each new piece of information it’s own self-contained section, so as to educate without being too overwhelming or dry. The illustrations also do a great service here, visualizing the animals in a darling yet realistic style that provides engaging visual aides. This isn’t a true storybook, and not for reading in one sitting (though JJ still loved the art), but is a perfect book for families introducing their little ones to chicken farming. A wonderful resource for aspiring chicken fanciers and/or farmers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Egg (Kevin Henkes)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Egg by Kevin Henkes, an adorable story of four little eggs and the surprises they hold inside.

Laid out in graphic-novel style, four colorful eggs sit, waiting to hatch. Soon, three of the eggs crack and open, revealing colorful baby birds. But the birds eventually notice that their fourth friend has yet to hatch. The birds attempt to help the egg along with some pecking, and soon enough they hear a telltale “crack”! But what’s inside the egg is not what they were expecting at all!

This was a simple, fun little book about eggs, patience, and friendship, and we had a lot of fun with it. It’s especially great for very young readers because the text is minimal and repetitive: by the third “peck-peck-peck” panel, JJ was tapping the book and “ek”-ing along with me. The spring-themed color scheme is bright, simple, and visually pleasing, and Henke’s illustrations are as sweet and charming as always. The length is just perfect for babies, and as you can tell from the photo, JJ absolutely loved it! This is an easy and fun springtime read, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

What Will Hatch? (Jennifer Ward)

Hello everyone! Today, our book was What Will Hatch?, written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Susie Ghahremani. This peek-through book takes a look at all the different creatures that lay and hatch from eggs, called oviparous animals. Each page features an egg and a few short rhyming words to describe the creature inside, with the animal’s reveal on the next page (there is also a small peek-through cutout in the shape of each egg leading to the next page). At the end, there is a nonfiction section that lists the animals and their gestation times inside an egg, which was a nice touch. 

This is a nice and straightforward book about egg-laying creatures. The minimal text makes it good for very young readers, and also makes it a great length for baby bookworms like JJ. The folk-art is very cute, simple and colorful for little nature-lovers. Overall, a perfectly nice book. Baby Bookworm approved!